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Region 2
Youth Resources

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Student Career Hints

Career Exploration
Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student or just thinking of a career change, deciding on a career can be difficult.  You are not alone.  There are many tools and resources that can help you make an informed choice.  While we have provided some tools below, you may also want to visit with a school counselor or visit your school or local library.

What do I like to do?  What can I learn easily? Can I use the skills I have?
Interest, aptitude and other assessments can help measure your interest, ability and other traits that may affect your success in certain activities and careers.

Where are the jobs?  What will I earn?
Nothing is more frustrating than selecting a career and then not being able to find employment in your field.  A little research before starting a training program or job search will maximize your chance of selecting a career with increasing job opportunities.  It is also important to consider where you want to live when conducting this research as job outlook, earnings, and cost-of-living varies by location.


Applications
There are many reasons why you may be asked to complete an application.  It is important to remember that a resume does not replace an application.  Here are some things to keep in mind when completing job applications.

  • Follow directions.  This is one of the main reasons you will be asked to complete an application, to see if you can follow directions.

  • Be neat.  Your qualifications won't count if they can't be read.  In addition, your handwriting may be important on the job.

  • Be complete.  Your resume does not (and should not) include all of the information you will be asked for on an application.  Your resume style affects the content and presentation of your work history as well.

  • Keep a portfolio.  Over the years it becomes increasingly difficult to remember details required for a complete application.  Dates, wages, and supervisor's names are just a few of the items you will need.  Also include any training and accomplishments on the job to include on future applications and resumes.

  • Attach a resume.  No matter what your experience level, you should attach a resume to all applications.  This provides you the opportunity to highlight your most impressive qualifications.

  • Career One Stop - Links to various job search aids on the Internet.

  • Employment Strategies - A 1 semester credit hour course through NIACC.  Consult the NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and registration procedures.  


Resumes
There are many styles of resumes.  The style you use depends on your work history and qualifications for the job.  Two of the most common styles are Chronological and Functional.  A chronological  resume outlines your work history starting with the most recent and working backward.  This is the most common resume style.  A functional resume outlines your work history based on the function you performed.  This works especially well if you have a lot of similar experience with several different companies.

  • Career One Stop - Links to various job search aids on the Internet.

  • Career One Stop -  Post your resume online.

  • Employment Strategies - A one semester credit hour course through NIACC.  Consult the NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and registration procedures.  

  • Job Seeking Skills - The Workforce Development Partnership offers many workshops designed to help you develop or refine the tools and skills needed to obtain and retain employment.  View our Region 2 calendar of events for a list of upcoming workshops.

    E-mail Etiquette
    E-mail can often be your first – and possibly, your only – point of contact with other people. Practicing good business etiquette on the Web can make a difference between hearing back from an employer or not when applying for that perfect job.


    “Think of your e-mail as a serious communication tool, not an excuse to forget about being professional, courteous or friendly,” says Rohn Everson, Human Resources manager at Maintainer, Sheldon. “Sometimes, even thoughtless little things can completely destroy what otherwise is a professional message.”

    What message does an e-mail address like bigman@xyz456.com, hotbunny@abc123.com, singlebabe@123.com send, he asks? Those addresses are not professional, and could be considered demeaning and insensitive. Most businesses don’t want to convey that type of image, and applicants with these types of addresses will probably not be considered for employment.

    Bryan Kooi, Human Resources manager at MEDTEC, Orange City, agrees.

    “I receive a lot of resumes via e-mail. I see some very questionable e-mail addresses that make me wonder about the ethics, morality, and overall professionalism of the applicant,” says Kooi.


    Always provide a personal name if your mail system allows it - a personal name attached to your address identifies you better than your address can on its own, advises Everson. For example, RobertAnderson@abc123.com conveys the sender as a professional person to be taken seriously a lot more than boblovesbeer@abc123.com

    “Use a sensible personal name: ‘Guess who’ or other such phrases are annoying as personal names and hinder the recipient's quick identification of you and your message,” says Everson.

    Matt Ricke, a Sioux City-based manager with Manpower, considers questionable e-mail addresses as a “red flag – a reason not to hire someone.”

    He advises people to select a simple address, not one loaded with letters and numbers, and definitely not something odd or off the wall. He understands that some people consider their e-mail address as a personal expression, but offers this cautionary advice to job seekers:

    “If that’s their image, they have to understand the consequences of those choices.” And sometimes, he says, the consequence is not getting the job.

    Our society needs proper etiquette now more than ever, Everson believes.


    “Good manners maintain consideration and kindness in our busy lives. Knowledge of good manners can lead to success in life. Appropriate conduct can make or break business deals, or determine the outcome of a job interview and promote good relations,” says Everson.

    The bottom line, according to all three managers, is to be professional. Your e-mail address is a direct reflection of you, your image and your values.

     


Interviews
It is not always the most qualified person that gets the job but the one that interviews the best.  Interviewers are looking at more than just your qualifications during an interview.  They have a number of "unasked" questions.

  • I wonder if this is an industrious person?

  • Does this person have initiative?

  • Does this person have the capacity to learn?

  • Does this person have common sense?

  • How will this person fit in with our current employees?

  • Is this person enthusiastic?

  • Will this person be a good team worker?

Your verbal and nonverbal communication during the interview often provide the answers to these questions.  Remember, first impressions count!  Here are a few other tips for a positive interview experience.

  • Research the company.  This indicates initiative and enthusiasm and will help you determine which qualifications to highlight.

  • Review your answers.  While you cannot predict every question, there are many common questions.  Determine your answers for these questions and it will be easier to deal with the other questions you will be asked.

  • Dress appropriately.  Remember, if hired, you represent the company to everyone you meet.  If needed, drive by the business just before or after closing to determine appropriate dress.  You should dress one step above what you would wear on the job.

  • Career One Stop - Links to various job search aids on the Internet.

  • Employment Strategies - A one semester credit hour course through NIACC.  Consult the NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and registration procedures

 

 

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